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SOWEC begins port engagement on establishing a Scottish floating offshore wind cluster

14 January 2022

Today the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council has published a set of principles expected to underpin a new Collaborative Framework for Scotland’s offshore wind sector.

In August 2021 Professor Sir Jim McDonald published his Strategic Investment Assessment. He recommended that the offshore wind sector work to develop a Collaborative Framework able to support discussions between industry and Scottish ports on the creation of a Floating Offshore Wind Port Cluster.

The SIA foresaw that the framework of this agreement needed to be in place prior to the announcement of ScotWind leasing results, so that successful developers could take up the baton and work together with industry partners to finalise the agreement.

Effective collaboration would support effective port use, bring forward investment in making facilities ready, and help reduce delivery risk for individual offshore wind projects. The principles set out how companies are expected to work together, and practical steps such as sharing data and communication that can lead to better outcomes.

The next step is for SOWEC to seek feedback on the draft principles through engagement with Scottish ports and the wider supply chain. When ScotWind results are announced, developers with option agreements will be asked to join work to move the collaborative framework forward, importantly, adding a level of detail which will set out clear and measurable objectives to the framework and the principles as needed.

 

SOWEC industry co-chair Brian McFarlane said: “The offshore wind industry is an expert in working in partnership in the delivery of projects, and we are now working to apply this expertise to supporting supply chain and ports growth. ScotWind is a once in a generation opportunity, so it is vital that industry works together to support Scottish ports create a world class cluster that can underpin successful delivery of projects between now and the early 2030s.”

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “As part of ScotWind, developers were asked to clarify their level of commitment to engage and work with the supply chain here in Scotland. The principles being published today are a clear way to support these commitments, helping forge an effective partnership to deliver on the exciting potential that offshore wind presents in the coming years.

“Scotland has world class engineering and energy expertise, and I am pleased to see Scottish ports being engaged in this partnership. I am grateful to industry members of SOWEC for their work in taking forward the recommendations of the Strategic Investment Assessment, and look forward to working with them to agree next steps after ScotWind lease options are announced.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, said: “It is encouraging to see this progress being made by the offshore wind industry and government. I am a passionate advocate for the value of strategic collaboration. Our real competitors are the other nations also looking to be leaders in offshore wind, which means our challenge in Scotland is working together so that we can compete on the world stage. To do that, our ports and suppliers must be world beating. That means that if we work Scotland-wide, we can succeed together. It is essential we capture the economic value from creating a decarbonised energy system and I am looking forward to seeing the results of ScotWind and how this important work is taken forward.”